The UK's Co-operative Bank has been tweeting twitchy customers today promising that it is not seeking a government bailout in the wake of its debt rating being downgraded to junk by Moody's.
The ratings agency made its move last night, reasoning that the Co-Op Bank's "problem loan ratio" rose last year and warning that it could need "external help".
Then, within hours, the bank's chief executive, Barry Tootell, quit. He had been overseeing the ambitious plan to buy 632 branches from Lloyds Banking Group, which fell through last month.
Although savers are protected to the tune of £85,000 in the event of the bank going bust, customers have been using Twitter to voice their concerns and seek reassurance.
In a fuller statement on its Web site, the bank acknowledges its "disappointment" at the downgrade but insists: "We have a strong funding profile and high levels of liquidity, which are significantly above the regulatory requirements."
With Twitter a well-proven medium for the spread of panic (witness the recent AP hack), the Co-Op's decision to tweet its message of reassurance to the world seems a sensible precaution against any potential bank run.
At the recent Swift Business Forum, MP Mark Garnier admitted that his enthusiasm for a system allowing customers to switch banks near-instantaneously could prove dangerous in the age where Twitter can induce a panicked herd mentality. Banks, and regulators, can't fight the flow of instant communication though - the only sensible answer is to take the initiative and, as the Co-Op has done, use it to your advantage.